I’m a big fan of O.C. Tanner’s philosophy around what they call the “Carrot Culture” (see here), the idea that you can help people realize their greatest potential through recognition and appreciation.

On their website (here) is a quick video introduction which is worth watching. But here is the text:

Each of us is born with a gift. An ear for music. A knack for science. A flare for writing. For a time, these seeds of genius lie dormant within us, and then it happens. With a mark on a page, or a comment with a smile, someone we trust appreciates a task well done. And appreciation changes everything. It awakens our gift from slumber, and makes it real. Talent becomes expertise. Potential becomes performance.

We look around and see possibilities everywhere, in everything, and we’re inspired, to invent, to create, to discover, to change the world. All because someone appreciated our potential. Then the real epiphany comes. The fastest way we can change the world is to appreciate the potential in those around us.

Because to appreciate doesn’t just mean to notice, to value, and to understand, it means to grow.